I hate self-promoting, really I do. But there are times when you feel a little lost and as if no one is listening. You convince yourself that just one little squeak to the world will turn someone's head and they'll finally see the genius of your work... But you secretly expect them to turn around and say it's rubbish, of course. Trouble is, when you haven't had any feedback for, like, a whole week you become desperate for any sort of response at all.
For the most part I manage to avoid too much self-promotion... well, I'm not as bad as others. This blog is about me so it's bound to feature incessant mentions of my books. No escape from that, but at least people don't have to visit my blog if they don't want to. The places where people become annoyed by self-promotion are the forums and Twitter. On there it gets waved in your face until you unfollow or ignore. I can imagine that, as a columnist or publisher, some Twits grow sick of constant self-promo tweets. I can also understand the anger that is frequently vented on reader forums at self-promoting authors - it just becomes repetitive and dull (and you can get away with being quite angry on the internet, which only serves to aggravate the fallout). And then there's authors promo-ing to other authors. How silly.
But many writers don't really realise the impact they're having until they learn some netiquette. I've never made any serious blunders (or at least I've never angered groups of onliners that I know of) but I could so easily have done when I was learning the ropes.
If only social networking came with a handbook... (there are a few, just read the FAQ).
Sometimes I do tweet about my book being on sale - what author doesn't do that? I think it's all about volume and, er... bedding. You need to have other things to talk about, even if it's just the price of soap. Some call it contributing: as if you're taking part in some great discussion where the ultimate understanding may one day be achieved. My writing is very insular - it is influenced by the things I see and learn, but it doesn't really come out of discussion with others. Given that I have a real life, real friends elsewhere and a different persona I find it bloody hard discussing random stuff with virtual strangers. But I think it's worth it not to irritate others.